The Bible was written over a period of hundreds of years by a variety of different human authors. How can we claim that it is the Word of God?
Firstly, the Bible claims to be inspired by God: “Every Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).
Secondly, Jesus endorsed the Old Testament Scriptures both by quoting from them and by teaching about them: “You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and these are they which testify about me.” (John 5:39)
Thirdly, it is the experience of Christians down the centuries that the Bible speaks truth and light into our lives in a way that nothing else does. Although written by people in very different cultures, we find that the words of the Bible are still very relevant to us today.
This does not mean that every part of the Bible is easy to understand – in fact this is even acknowledged within the Bible itself: “there are some things that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unsettled twist, as they also do to the other Scriptures” (2 Peter 3:16). When we read the Bible we need to pray for God to help us understand it by His Holy Spirit. It is also helpful to read the whole Bible – as that helps us understand each part in context. Sometimes when we look at a piece of a jigsaw it is difficult to work out where it will fit into the overall picture as it has such a strange colour or pattern on it. But when we complete the jigsaw we see just how this piece fits in. This can also be true of parts of the Bible – they only make sense once we can see the “big picture” of the whole Bible narrative.
Each Sunday in church we listen to a passage from the Bible and then someone explains something of what it means for us today. You would be very welcome to join us – why not give it a try?